[Sugarhouse] How to make Maple Syrup with Charlie Moulton | New Hampshire Gold

[Sugarhouse] How to make Maple Syrup with Charlie Moulton | New Hampshire Gold

All credit links are in the description below [This film was made for academic purpose and has nothing related to other content or anything else on this channel in any ways] So here we are out in our maple orchard out in the woods here in new hampshire and what we use now to tap our trees which help save on a long labor is the tubing system and the tubing system goes from tree to tree to tree, we have to have a slope so the sap will flow downhill into a large tank at the bottom of the hill, saves us lot of labor, so in tapping the trees we usually tap our trees here in this region of New Hampshire in late February and that’s when the temperatures start warming up above freezing at night Freezing during the night and warmer during the day so we start drilling our trees so we drill a small hole just about a big around as a pencil just into the sapwood of the tree. This is the spout here where the sap goes in and we just tap it in slowly And we’re all set, so the sap will run out of the tree down into the tubing and on the way down to the big tank at the bottom of the hill. So here we are up near our hay fields where the ground is flat so we can’t use our tubing. Historically sap buckets were hung on maple trees and we still hang some set buckets today where it’s too flat to use our tubing system, so we have an old-fashioned metal spout once again we’ve drilled our hole in the tree and we tap this in. Just barely so it’s in there. In a minute you’ll see the the sap dropping out of the spile but this bucket hangs right on that spout like that and then to keep the snow because we are still getting, snow this time of year while we’re making syrup, we put a lid on it, and that keeps all the snow and the rain out of the bucket. Now when the sap is running well it’s very easily to fill the sap bucket in the day The sap from the maple tree. So that’s historically how everybody made sirplease using sap buckets and we still use them today. So now we’re down here gathering sap we’ll see what this happen has run today or not. So this is full of sap and it was cold last night so there’s actually a little bit of ice in here to which we’re gonna throw away. but as the sap has dripped out of the spout you can still see it dripping. this bucket is almost full so we’ve had a nice run of sap today. And we’re gonna just take this out very carefully. We pour it into my bucket. Nice clear sap crystal cold, this will make some beautiful syrup And then we can hang the bucket back up. We put the lid back on, it’s still dripping so we gonna get more sap this afternoon. And then i’ll take my bucket of sap, And we’ll pour it in the big tank take it up to the sugar house and we’ll start boiling and making syrup. Welcome to our sugar house here in New Hampshire, this is where we make all our maple syrup here on the farm, commonly called a sugarhouse or a saphouse, and this is where we do all the boiling of our syrup. And the sap comes from the maple tree obviously and the sugar maple only grows here in northern North America on the east coast. It’s very specific to this region and it has a highest sugar content in the sap of any of the maple trees and that’s where we make the syrup from so we start with that. Then sap comes out of the tree it looks just like water, we’ll take a look at that a little bit later and it has about 2% sugar in it. We have to boil off 39 to 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup out of that sap so we concentrated quite a bit in order to make that one gallon of maple syrup that we do every year and the season here in New Hampshire is anywhere from late February through early april it’s about a six-week season and we need freezing nights and warm sunny days like we have today so anything down in the mid-20s Fahrenheit up into the 40 degree region early Early to mid 40s is perfect for sugaring, so those where we start and When we have a second we’ll go on inside we’ll start talking about the process of how we make it. So here we are in our woodshed and we use wood-fired evaporator which we’ll show you in a minute but we use wood of our farm as a heat source to boil all our sap with. When our wood shed is full it holds about 40 quarts and we normally use all of it to make our sap into syrup for the whole season so not only is a lot of work during the season making the syrup, it’s a lot of preparatory time cutting all this wood all year long in order to fill the woodshed. And there’s not, a lot of people that use wood to fire big evaporators like ours anymore a lot of the modern ones use Oil or things like that to boil the syrup with. But we’re very traditional we still use wood and like i said we burn about 40 quarts and when we go inside the actual sugar house will fire up and i’ll show you how that works. Now we’re here back at the sugarhouse and this is our big sap tank it holds all of our sap for the day and if you notice we have this larger blue pipe where those smaller pipes in the sugar orchard all feed into this larger pipe and it all runs by gravity here into the sugarhouse and this is what stores our sap for the day, this holds 2,500 gallons and on a good day during sugaring season we can fill this with sap and that will take me about 12 hours to process through the evaporator when we’re boiling it. So from our large sap tank our storage tank down here in the storage room from there and pump it upstairs into this smaller tank and from there it runs by gravity through these copper pipes Into the evaporator where we boil it so we can process about 200 gallons of that raw sap and our need to make the syrup We don’t run very much sap in this at all we only have this about an inch deep and this is segmented so it zigzags its way across to the other side of the pan all the while losing all this steam and we can boil off about 200 gallons of water into steam every hour like I said remember it’s about 40 gallons of sap To make one gallon of syrup and if we can get rid of 200 gallons into steam that makes about five gallons of syrup and our forms on this evaporator now because we’re using such a inconsistent heat sources would it’s very difficult to actually finish syrup here on the evaporator itself. Where it’s actually dessert is coming off, remember the raw sap is coming in one end flow through the system and we’re getting almost syrup here coming off this end right here and we use temperature to monitor this now syrup is finished when it boils at 7 degrees above the boiling point of water and as we all know the boiling point of water can vary, depending on your elevation or atmosphere pressure. So we get it very close here you know when the temperature reads about 219 degrees we’ll start throwing it off if it gets a little hotter We’ll open up the valve and bring it off a little bit faster if it cools off we’ll slow it down but this is just a guideline it’s almost ready for syrup here and we’re gonna do shut this off. We’re gonna trade buckets. I’ll show you what we do in this next. Here in the small side and called a finishing pan this is heated with propane. So it’s much easier to control the final cooking process. We always filter our syrup when we move it because we get a lot of minerals and precipitant that come out of the sap when we boil it and it’s very dark and very muddy. It’s kind of surprising how dark the mud is that we filterd out of this to make a nice clear product so this is heated with propane And it’s like I said, it’s much easier to finish the product here so we monitor this until it reached the exact right temperature or consistency then we can shut the propane off, we filter it and we bottle it up. We’re back and we’re gonna talk about sap a little bit as it comes out of the maple tree and I’m not afforded here, I’m gonna do a little test on this to find out how much sugar there is in the sap cell. So as you can see it’s clear like water when it comes out of the tree and you really can’t tell the difference between this and water unless you actually taste it and it has it’s a very faint hint of.. not even a maple flavor just kind of a little bit of a sweet flavor to it. So what we’re gonna do here is kind of test the sugar content of the sap like I said normally it runs around 2%. This is a hydrometer. In this actual measure the sugar content in the sap floors so we just float this in here and i can read it on the scale and it reads.. two-and-a-half percent, 2.4 maybe 2.5% sugar in the sap and that’s actually pretty good. The more sugar in the sap, the less sap it takes to make that gallon of syrup. So right now it’s probably about 37 maybe 38 gallons to make that one gallon syrup. That’s what we do with our sap. So every time that we boil here in the sugarhouse every day we take a sample of maple syrup for our record of what we’ve produced for that particular day and generally speaking, the lightest syrup is made in the beginning of the season and as we progressed through the season over the period of a four to six-week period the syrup generally gets darker and darker generally speaking the darker the syrup, the stronger the flavor. So here in the state of New Hampshire which is uniform throughout the northeast here, We have to have the grading of the syrup. The lightest syrup is a nice golden delicate taste as it begins to darken it’s called rich taste and then toward the end of the season it’s of what’s called a robust taste so it has a nice strong maple flavor and it really comes down to what your preference is if you like something very delicate and light You would prefer the light amber if you want more stronger flavor you would go for a darker syrup. So over the course of the season we take what mother nature gives us we don’t have any control over it and that is how syrup is graded here in the Northeast. Okay, so this year we’ve boiled several times and these are all the samples of the maple syrup that we’ve made this year so far this is the very first time in late February when we started making syrup this year every day that we boiled like I said we take a sample of it and we started out a little on the medium side and then it lightened up into that delicate flavor syrup here and then we had a spell where it warmed up and you made some darker syrup and then we got cooled off again and we started making light syrup again so there can be some variation on what mother nature gives us throughout the course of the year but these beautiful samples are served and what come out of our wonderful maple trees here in New Hampshire. [English caption by: Tonkla Sakkaew] Link to the website in in the description below Fin.


  1. Visit New Hampshire Gold: www.nhgold.com
    Want to try and buy our maple syrup? Go to: http://www.nhgold.com/maple-products/pure-maple-syrup-in-jugs/

  2. I love this video. Thanks for making it available to all of us 'green horns' to the processing of maple syrup. Emily May

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